Alonso Stroll can become world champion one day

Alonso: “Stroll can become world champion one day”

A surprise statement from Fernando Alonso last week about his new Aston Martin Formula 1 team-mate, Montreal’s Lance Stroll, caught many by surprise, but the veteran Spanish driver has no regrets.

• Also read: Formula 1: Moderate expectations for Alonso at Aston Martin in 2023

• Also read: Formula 1: Here is Lance Stroll’s car for the 2023 season

“Lance can be world champion one day,” Alonso repeated to our colleagues from UK broadcaster Sky Sports at the unveiling of the new AMR23 single-seater on Monday afternoon in England.

“He has the speed and the talent to claim Alonso. He has shown it on many occasions, especially on a wet track. I remember, among other things, the brilliant leadership position he acquired in Turkey [en 2020]. »

But hey, despite a few rare outbursts, Stroll has yet to shed that ‘paying’ driver tag, a commodity that thankfully is becoming increasingly rare in F1.

Was Alonso trying to be polite to a partner who is also the son of Aston Martin team boss Lawrence Stroll?

We have to admit that after 122 starts, the Quebec driver is still waiting for his first Formula 1 win. Alonso, he only waited 12 events to climb to the top step of the podium.

Memorable duels

At 41, Alonso is not only the oldest F1 driver on the grid, but also the most experienced with 356 participations. Stroll was just two years old when the Spaniard began his glittering career in Formula One (at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix).

“I remember Fernando when I was young, his duels with Michael Schumacher [en 2006 notamment] and I have to admit that I had a fondness for Schumacher at the time. But his arrival is a valuable acquisition for our team and I look forward to working with him,” said Stroll.

The latter, the privileged one, has the chance to compete with another world champion after Sebastien Vettel. With the difference that Alonso seems much more motivated than the German and that despite his venerable age he is still considered one of the most gifted active drivers.

Many observers think that Alonso will make his future teammate look very bad in 2023. Unless the “future world champion” shows an extraordinary talent that he has not expressed to this day.

A nod to Villeneuve

In conclusion, Alonso doesn’t think Stroll is preferred [lire bénéficier le premier de certaines évolutions sur la voiture en cours de saison] because he’s the boss’s son.

“I don’t think so,” replies Alonso. I’ve been in Formula 1 long enough to know how to manage my relationships with my teammates and team leaders. It reminds me of Jacques Villeneuve, with whom I only worked for three Grands Prix. It was fun because he had a strong personality. »

As a reminder, Villeneuve was called upon to replace Italy’s Jarno Trulli at Renault during the final three events of the 2004 season in support of Alonso.